***Just in time for your holiday shopping consideration, I start a new series focusing on independent retail & dining establishments found in pedestrian-friendly areas of the Triangle. Bring along friends & family and spend a fun day exploring our cities on foot while supporting local small businesses.***
This coming weekend would be a perfect time to visit downtown Hillsborough as the town celebrates a holiday weekend filled with festivities, including a tree lighting during Last Fridays Art Walk, a parade on Saturday as well as Sunday’s 26th Annual Candlelight Tour. If you do visit, plan a little extra time to explore the local shops, galleries and dining establishments along Churton Street.
One of the galleries you’ll want to visit when in Hillsborough is Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, an art gallery owned and operated by local artists, featuring modern and contemporary fine arts across a variety of media. The gallery is currently displaying pieces for “The Art of Giving“. Hanging in the gallery’s front window is an enchanting display of delicate hand-blown glass ornaments delightfully dangling from a white, lighted branch.
The gallery member selections for “The Art of Giving” include jewelry in a variety of styles and techniques, paintings in both large and small formats, ceramics and pottery, fiber arts in the form of hand-knit scarves, handbags and framed quilted scenes, fine wood furniture, photography (including note & gift cards), as well as found object sculpture from the gallery’s newest artist. This Friday, November 30th, an Opening Reception is planned from 6 – 9 pm. “The Art of Giving” show continues through January 13, 2013.
As you explore additional venues along the same side of Churton Street, you’ll be drawn towards Matthew’s Chocolates, now with more seating room inside. For those wishing to explore the fiber arts, stop in The Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Just around the corner on West King Street, you’ll find the local bookshop Purple Crow Books, as well as the old-fashioned hardware shop Dual Supply Co., with shiny new bicycles lining the front walk.
Further along Churton Street, make a point to stop in Court Square Shops (on the ground floor, just below Saratoga Grill) to browse the antique and vintage items, home decor, jewelry and children’s clothing and books.
When you’re ready to have a seat and sip, stop in Hillsborough Wine Co. where wine is sold by the bottle as well as by the glass via the tasting station, and the comfortable lounge seating invites you to linger a while.
The Hillsborough dining scene offers many dining options. Take a coffee break at Cup a Joe, or a brew break at The Wooden Nickel. When ready for a full meal, try the farm to table restaurant Panciuto, or the regional Italian fare at Antonia’s.
Also found along Churton Street (near the public parking deck) is the Hillsborough location of the local community-owned grocery coop, Weaver Street Market. Look for the “Local” shelf tag to identify products from local food artisans and put together a gift bag or basket of local treats. Perhaps some Chapel Hill Creamery cheese along with a box of artisan flatbread crackers from The Accidental Baker? Or a jar of Nello’s Sauce paired with a selection of pasta? You get the idea.
If you’d like to learn more about events, shops and dining in Hillsborough, take a look at the Visit Hillsborough website here. Then hit the road for an artful and fun-filled day in another community on “edge of the Triangle”.
Do you use the Foursquare app on your smart phone? I’ve put together a list of my favorite spots in Hillsborough (including all of the above and more) and you can find the list here. Feel free to save the list (and share with friends) for reference next time you visit Hillsborough.